|Mandabi (The Money Order)|
Ousmane Sembene Senegal, 1968)New Print!
PFA has acquired a new print of Mandabi in Albert Johnson's name, made for us by New Yorker Films. It honors Albert's role in bringing African cinema, especially that of Ousmane Sembene, to the States, and in teaching this cinema for twenty years to his Third World Cinema classes. In 1969, he wrote: "Mandabi is the first African feature film to be shown at the San Francisco Film Festival, and as expected, it opens up an entirely new, exciting experience for American filmgoers. Sembene is deeply aware of the problems in his country and is always in touch with the feelings of his people, their unique cultural manifestations, and above all, their wit. Mandabi is a folk-comedy with satirical overtones, and with all of the rich visions for the spectator to behold, there are deep observations of character involved. The story concerns Dieng, a middle-aged Moslem, his two wives, and their seven children. One day he receives a money order from his nephew in Paris, with specific instructions about its division. However, news of the money order soon spreads throughout the entire neighborhood... The very unpretentiousness of Mandabi fills one with great optimism about the future of African cinema."
• Written by Sembene. Photographed by Paul Soulignac. With Mamadou Guye, Ynousse N'Diaye, Issa Niang, Serigne N'Diayes. (90 mins, In French and Wolof with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, PFA Collection)